Thursday, January 17, 2008

If The Price Is Right

The 'net is abound with many suggestions on how to fix the Canucks' offensive woes. Okay, mostly Markus Naslund's offensive woes.

I don't doubt that Peter Forsberg will look good on a line with Nazzy (Barry Macdonald, 24 Hours):
Adding Forsberg to the mix? Imagine the possibilities. Like Markus Naslund finding his form, and the net with a little more regularity. Like the Canucks having another line that they can count on offensively. Like a parade.
Ditto Mats Sundin (Ken Campbell, The Hockey News via Metro Vancouver):
Vancouver needs a second-line centre in a big way, especially with the uncertain status of Brendan Morrison. Sundin has proven this season that his offensive skills and instincts are as sharp as they have ever been and that he can be counted upon to score in all situations. I’m sure Jason Jaffray is a nice young man and all, but don’t you think Sundin would be a great fit between Markus Naslund and Taylor Pyatt?
What about Marian Hossa (Bruce Garrioch, Ottawa Sun)?
A league executive indicated if Waddell decides to deal Hossa, the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings will all be in the hunt.
If Dave Nonis wants to upgrade his forward group, he definitely has options. The question is, how much would it cost the team?

Sundin and Hossa are this year's Forsberg and Smyth. Both are impending UFA's and both will cost an arm, a leg and both nuts to get. The Predators and Islanders had to give up a couple of top prospects and a couple of high-round draft picks to get them, and no doubt, Sundin and Hossa will cost the same. Think Ryan Kesler or Alex Edler plus Luc Bourdon or Mason Raymond plus a first-round draft pick and perhaps another draft pick.

In a cap system where teams need young players to step up and make significant contributions for cheap, I could live with trading one Moose prospect and the draft picks for either (Sundin preferably), but not with having to give up a core part of the team or the team's future. And that's assuming that the next in lines - i.e. Michael Grabner, Jannik Hansen and Nathan Maciver - can step in and play the same role that Raymond and Edler are playing this season and that guys like Juraj Simek and Shaun Heshka can progress further. As we know from this year, you never want to keep the prospects cupboard bare in case the team goes through a rough patch of injuries.

Which brings me to Peter Forsberg. He's trying to make another comeback (TSN.ca), and if he's successful, it will cost the Canucks nothing more than $$$ to get him in the new Free Willy jersey. This is key - they won't have to give up a Kesler or an Edler; they just have to sign him.

Admittedly, there's a risk involved in signing Forsberg. He has had his share of injuries and there's not guarantee that, even with whatever procedure he has to go through with his ankle, that he won't get hurt again. Chances are, he will, but likewise, there is no guarantee that a Sundin or a Hossa won't get hurt either. The only hope is that he remains healthy enough to re-invigorate Naslund and help get the Canucks deeper into the playoffs.

With Roberto Luongo, the Canucks are as good as most teams in the league. With a Peter Forsberg or a Mats Sundin, they could even be like tonight's opponent, the Detroit Red Wings. It would be nice, but only if the price is right.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:04 AM


At January 17, 2008 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bourdon, Edler, Raymond, Grabner are all good prospects, but to get Hossa. They could be packaged in some way, dealing Kesler though would be unforgiveable and stupid. Kes is comin into his own, and I see him finishin this year around 25 goals and 45-50 points. Hossa might finish with 80-90. The spread is to tight to give up on Vans BEST developing player...


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